Friday, April 13, 2012

Chicago police feel comfortable deploying this, and I have to wonder if the "trigger" for its deployment will simply be a legal, peaceful, march

American Scofflaw

It is very clear that coming into the 21st century, the United States of America is no longer the "land of the free", but has become the land of the cowed, and the home of the surveilled; its people continually threatened by elements of a government, ever working to preserve the status quo for themselves while impoverishing all those around them.

I am not surprised that Chicago police feel perfectly comfortable deploying this, and I have to wonder if the "trigger" for its deployment will simply be a permitted, completely peaceful, march in protest of NATO policies, with which to "lower the bar" on when, and how, such technology could be used nationally.

In fact, I am almost astonished that they are not purchasing and deploying Raytheon's "pain gun", which was used in Afghanistan.

Here is how the company describes what this machine does:

The Silent Guardian™ protection system is a revolutionary less-than-lethal directed energy application that employs millimeter wave technology to repel individuals or crowds without causing injury. The system provides a zone of protection that saves lives, protects assets and minimizes collateral damage. Silent Guardian produces precise effects at longer ranges than current less-than-lethal systems and provides real-time ability to establish intent and de-escalate aggression. Various commercial and military applications include law enforcement, checkpoint security, facility protection, force protection and peacekeeping missions.

And here is how a volunteer describes how he experienced being at the receiving end of this equipment:

Er ... ow! OW!" Not good. I try again. "OWWW!" I pull my hand away sharpish. My finger is throbbing, but seems undamaged. I was told people can take it for a second, maximum. No way, not for a wimp like me. I try it again. It is a bit like touching a red-hot wire, but there is no heat, only the sensation of heat. There is no burn mark or blister. Its makers claim this infernal machine is the modern face of warfare. It has a nice, friendly sounding name, Silent Guardian. I am told not to call it a ray-gun, though that is precisely what it is (the term "pain gun" is maybe better, but I suppose they would like that even less). And, to be fair, the machine is not designed to vaporise, shred, atomise, dismember or otherwise cause permanent harm. Oww! Michael Hanlon tries the Raytheon ray-gun But it is a horrible device nonetheless, and you are forced to wonder what the world has come to when human ingenuity is pressed into service to make a thing like this. Silent Guardian is making waves in defence circles. Built by the U.S. firm Raytheon, it is part of its "Directed Energy Solutions" programme. What it amounts to is a way of making people run away, very fast, without killing or even permanently harming them. That is what the company says, anyway. The reality may turn out to be more horrific.

So please do not think, for one moment, if law enforcement agencies across this nation believe that they can get away with the use of technology like this, burying what is left of human and civil rights for American citizens, that they will hesitate to use it.

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